Choosing the Right Garden Bed: A Comprehensive Guide for Every Gardener

Different people approach the decision-making process differently. For some, it is more akin to haphazardly throwing darts on a board and simply choosing whichever option the dart lands on. For others, it is a more detailed inspection that involves a laborious amount of analysis and research.

When it comes to choosing the right garden bed, you’ll want to be a little pickier in your selection – a shoddy garden bed is a sinking ship in terms of investment.

Below is a comprehensive guide that every gardener should read before choosing a garden bed. 


Choosing the Right Garden Bed | Vego Garden

Why Use Raised Garden Beds?

From the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to the raised terraces of the Incas, mankind has strived to exert control over the surrounding vegetation using height. Indeed, there is value in an elevated platform in crop cultivation. While raised beds may not be feasible for large-scale farming operations, they are quite practical for the home gardener. 

  • Weed and pest control. Raised beds keep pests such as slugs from ransacking your crops. They also provide weed control, which can be fortified with a layer of mulch. If you live in an area with gopher problems, then gopher wire is recommended. 
  • Alleviates back strain. Weeding and tending a garden can take a serious toll on your back. No matter your age, you’ll benefit from the reduced strain on your back with raised beds.  
  • No burden of tilling. Tilling, which actually can aid in weed germination, is a burdensome chore you can skip. The purpose of tilling is mainly to improve soil aeration; since the garden soil in raised beds is unlikely to become compacted, most gardeners simply layer materials on top. 
  • Healthier harvests. Raised beds yield more prolific harvests because the nutrient-rich soil is more conducive to fruit blush color and maturity. The increased surface area also allows you to maximize growing space – extend it even further with a wall or arched trellis. 


Choosing the Right Garden Bed | Vego Garden

Tips for Choosing Raised Garden Beds

In the age of hyper advertisement and blatantly overpriced goods, the old adage “you get what you pay for” no longer seems relevant – insincere at best and patently hypocritical at worst. Most shoppers are hardwired to seek the best deals, but what may seem like a good deal may belie faults down the line. For raised garden beds, there are five salient criteria to evaluate. 

  • Correct material. Many low budget options for garden beds are available online, but not all are recommended. Some, such as cement blocks, contain fly ash, which is full of heavy metals. Similarly, discarded tires are a potential source for lethal amounts of hydrocarbons and other toxic substances. Wooden beds are a popular option, but they have a tendency to bow or rot, and the chemicals present in pressure-treated wood can leach into your crops. Metal beds, durable enough to last years or even decades, are recommended by professional gardeners. If the longevity of your garden bed is not a priority, then you can experiment with various types of lumber: oak, cedar, redwood, and pine. 
  • Size. Many vegetable crops require a certain root depth for viable plant growth. 12-18 inches will suffice for shallow-rooted crops, but some deeper-rooted crops require a far greater depth. At 32", Vego’s extra tall garden bed is tall enough to accommodate vegetables with deep roots as well as moderate and shallow-rooted ones. Regardless of the height of your garden beds, it is important that you can access your crops easily. Standard beds are usually kept 2-4 feet wide and 4-8 feet long. You’ll also want to make sure that taller crops are situated near the back (north side) so that they don’t block out sunlight. 
  • Appearance. It is human nature to gravitate towards the finer things in life. Some corrugated metal beds appear harsh and utilitarian, lacking ‘soul.’ A long-time customer favorite, the rounded designs of Vego Garden beds are both sophisticated and easy to maintain, with panels that can be easily rinsed off with water. Vego’s latest innovation features metal melded with AkzoNobel paint, an award-winning application that lends a durable finish while alleviating safety concerns. 
  • Assembly. DIY options may take hours or even days to perfect, while Vego raised beds take less than an hour to assemble. Further, they are modular, meaning that they can be reassembled to adapt to any space. Wooden beds, by contrast, are fixed in shape and are not amenable to changes. 
  • Cost. Galvanized steel beds may be initially more expensive than its wooden counterparts, but once a cost break-down analysis is applied, it becomes apparent that they are much more worthwhile in the long run. 


Choosing the Right Garden Bed | Vego Garden

Additional Factors to Consider

In colonial times, settlers did not have the luxury of modern modes of gardening. When harvests failed, they could be looking forward to a long, devastating period of starvation and famine. Fortunately, modern man lives in far less uncertain environments and are afforded the advantage of advanced gardening tools.  

1. Self-Watering Irrigation Options 

Irrigation is certainly one of the less glamorous aspects of gardening. Many gardeners find watering by hand therapeutic, but there’s benefits to an irrigation system. Designed to be paired with Vego’s cover system, this garden bed mister system facilitates the irrigation process, making watering your plants a hassle-free experience.  

2. Elevated Self-Watering Rolling Planter Garden Bed 

These days, motivation is hard to come by. Sometimes it comes to you. Vego’s elevated rolling planter, equipped with self-watering wicker cells, can be rolled anywhere at your convenience, making gardening accessible to even the most tepid gardener. 

3. Best Type of Soil to Fill Raised Beds 

Soil isn’t much to look at, but it’s the underlying success to bountiful crops. Often, the native soil in the yard is subpar – good soil is permeable and rich in organic matter. Many gardeners have reported success using the hügelkultur method as a cost-effective way to fill garden beds. Soil amendments such as regenerative compost can also help remedy poor soils.  

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